I said in the post I wrote yesterday that I was going to make this site more open-ended. I’m letting myself explore and experiment with my diverse interests. So as a way to make myself act on that, I’m starting by posting some projects and items I’ve already done, yet never shared.
Below is a piece of short fiction I wrote. It’s part of a series of short stories I wrote inspired by videos from MrSuicideSheep‘s YouTube channel, which is my favorite channel for music. Here is how to experience each story:
- Before you begin reading look at the song title, the picture that goes with it, and then listen to the song. I derived all inspiration and ideas for each story from the title, image, and music.
- You can listen to the song before, during, or after reading the story. I recommend doing all three, because that is how I did it when I wrote this.
- Horizontal separating lines like the one just below this sentence denote a change in scene. Enjoy.
Steel and Rain
“What’s going to happen now?”
The Droid took a step forward and stared, seemingly lost in the view. The wreckage that lay before them was once a sprawling metropolis. Towering skyscrapers. Big business. A technological masterpiece of steel and industry. And a smoldering reminder that everything is temporary.
The fires started slowly, but spread quickly. First jobs were lost. Then food supplies ran low. That was when the real riots began. Before the capitol knew what happened, there was a full fledged civil war. It was a long and bloody affair. And completely one-sided.
The capitol called them Droids. The rebels called them Demons. They swept through the city without mercy, without hesitation. The rebels were cut down and cornered quickly and efficiently.
But its funny how sometimes things don’t end up how you’d expect.
Milo didn’t wake up on a typical Wednesday expecting gunfire and explosions. He didn’t expect the reassuring words of his father, or the light brush of his mother’s lips on his forehead the night before to be his last memory of them. He didn’t expect to live day-to-day, ducking between destroyed houses with a group of fellow orphans scavenging for food.
Most of all – he didn’t expect The Droid.
They met at dusk, on the eve of Milo’s first month alone. The Droid was sent on a scouting mission to a patch of rundown shanties to investigate a disturbance. The capitol had reported food loss in excess of quota that week, and The Droid’s unit was sent in to investigate. The unit split up and went house to house, they weren’t really worried about traveling in groups. The rebels had failed to consistently take out a single Droid, even when outnumbering it 25 to 1. The Droid entered the house to find scrambling limbs and muffled cries. A small group of orphan humans dashed out the back door and into an alley between houses. Yet one remained.
The little boy’s eyes were round as the moon. He was stuck to the spot, staring up at it not with fear, but resolution. The young boy had been fighting the inevitable, and now his time had come. The Droid and the boy stood rooted to the spot, staring at each other. There was an executive order for this kind of situation. Exterminate on sight. Exterminate before sight. Exterminate on the slightest chance of contact. Yet when The Droid locked eyes with the boy, he forgot. He couldn’t follow orders.
Milo couldn’t even think. He was waiting for The Droid to do something. Anything. Then, after what seemed like hours, it acted. It strode forward, reached down, and grabbed Milo by his midsection.
The Droid fled with Milo gripped firmly between it’s steel fingers. Milo resisted at first, but quickly realized he was at the mercy of the machine. As the minutes dragged by, Milo zoned out to the consistent thumping of the mechanical legs against the dirt road. Not even caring to wonder anymore why he was still alive.
The Droid ran deep into the night, ducking patrols, and searching for food for the boy.
The next week, the rain began. The rain changed everything. The capitol had accounted for every possible risk when they created the Droids. Except for rust. The rain began, and didn’t stop. Droid’s started failing left and right, rusting until they would either malfunction or cease the ability of move at all.
Milo stayed indoors, The Droid only venturing out to bring back food for the boy. And so they lived… and so it rained. For weeks it poured, and the sounds of the human spirit could be heard rising throughout the city.
And then it stopped. Milo and The Droid slowly emerged from their safe haven, taking in the sights of a changed city. Rusted, crumbled ruins of both buildings and Droid’s lay strewn all across the city. Milo approached a fallen Droid, curious. How could something so destructive be destroyed by something so simple? He then turned to The Droid, how could something so destructive not kill him after all this time?
Milo turned back to the fallen, rusted Droid before him. His hands shook. He dove at the wreckage, prying away at the ruined steel wherever he could manage. Slowly pieces fell to the ground. The Droid simply stood to the side and watched. Then, after much struggle, Milo ripped the breastplate of the fallen Droid from the carapace. His hands fell to his sides, completely slack. Inside the carapace of the fallen Droid, deceased, was a human.
Milo looked at The Droid, who was staring right back. Why couldn’t it kill him? Why had this Droid fed him for weeks? Kept him safe?
Milo’s eyes went wide as the moon, and he sobbed.
“You know what? It doesn’t matter. Because either way we’ll be fine now.”
Milo hopped back to the apple tree beside his lookout and chose the biggest one he could find, tearing into it with the fervor of a child. He was still technically a child after all.
“We should build a house. Out of wood though. As long as it has a sturdy roof – in case it rains again. What do you think?”
The Droid turned to Milo, and nodded. Milo smiled.
“Yeah, that sounds like fun. Well we should probably get going, we have a lot of wood to collect!” Milo threw what remained of the apple away and started walking back down the path from the lookout.
When he realized The Droid wasn’t following, he turned with an impatient look on his face.
“We don’t have all day, come on Dad!”